Altice made a bid to acquire the 20 per cent stake in its French business (Numericable-SFR) held by Vivendi for €3.9 billion.
Vivendi became a shareholder in the company when Altice acquired SFR, the integrated operator it previously owned. It had committed to hold the stake for one year, but Altice’s new proposal comes less than six months after the SFR deal was completed.
Altice currently owns a little over 60 per cent of Numericable-SFR, and the business is also listed on Euronext Paris.
Half of the acquisition would be made by Numericable-SFR via a share-buyback and cash payment, with the other half coming from Altice France.
Vivendi said its board will consider the offer “in the coming days”. A decision will be made at a meeting on 27 February.
Altice said that the purchase would close “in the days following the Numericable-SFR general assembly meeting, which would be held no later than 30 April 2015”.
Earlier this week, it was reported that ambitious player Altice was again looking at an acquisition of Bouygues Telecom, France’s number-three operator, with an eye to merging it with Numericable-SFR.
It is also in the process of acquiring the assets of the former Portugal Telecom.
With two multi-billion transactions on the cards, it is not clear if the mooted Bouygues deal is now off the table.
Earlier this week, Numericable-SFR said it is expecting to report 2014 proforma adjusted EBITDA of €3.1 billion, down from €3.5 billion in 2013, on revenue of €11.4 billion, down from €11.8 billion.
The company’s mobile unit saw a “significant decline of the mobile prepaid customer base”, accompanied by a “moderate decline of its postpaid mobile customer base” during the year.
It also noted a decline in its fixed-line DSL customer base, although this was “more than compensated for” by growth in its fibre broadband users.